Sunday, June 8, 2008

Coldplay, Tate, Sherr, Hamstead, Kew and you!

Another week has flown by and I'm down to MY LAST WEEK HERE! oh no!!!!

I'm actually moderately alright about it. I have no regrets. I came what I came to see. Come the 48hrs before I have to head home I might start hyperventilating but it will still be with the obtained knowledge I came here to recieve. The theatre I want to persue, the streets where I want to live...the beautiful countryside that has been growing here for years and years, and for years and years to come. I WILL RETURN!
This week like other's was packed. I've spent a few hours in this horrible computer lab already when I could be walking the streets of London, selling my talents to the highest bidder, so I'm going to do this as quick as I can. I've been in here for hours writing and finishing my final paper for my Shakespeare in Literature class. It's a 6 page paper, and I've chosen to write about "The Different Values of Women found in Shakespeare". I'm going to compare and contrast it over the six shakespeare plays that we've seen. So far I have 5 pgs. mfghrrf.

MONDAY: I did a lot of stuff on my own this day. Which I really liked. I finished some galleries that I had gone to and had to leave early. I went to the National Gallery and walked among the greats of Da Vinci, Rembrant, Van Gogh, Van der Weyden, Monet and others. After that I went to the National Portrait Gallery. I went to dinner at literally one of my favorite U.K. chains, Wagamama's. I LOVE WAGAMAMA's--it's like a japanese, noodle galore place...they have this drink...this apple lime drink and it's foamy and gritty and DELISH-OLUSS. That night Katy and I met up for the National Theatre's Pitman Painters. Oh my goodness I loved this play! It's definitely the kind of play that I could be see being made into a movie in the future. It focuses on the art works of the Pitman coal miners, who knew nothing about art until they started taking 'Art Appreciation' lessons. In their free time off work, they would study the greats and begin to paint. Their artwork started to gain more and more prestige, showing the nitty-gritty factual truth that was their working class. It was a bitter real, and hilarious play and I really really loved it. Katy and I were heading back from the theatre and we met these really cool guys, Kenny & Jamie. They took us to a bar "bought us drinks", ha ha...try a water and a coke. But they were really nice...I genuinely enjoyed myself that night with these guys--they were really funny and entertaining. We stayed out late, and had a great round up to the night.

TUESDAY: That day in class we discussed the plays we would be seeing throughout the week and also discussed Troilus & Cressida that we would be seeing that night. I was looking forward to seeing it, as I had only just read the play and had never seen it or learned about it otherwise. Afterclass, we headed back to the flat...did laundry/made lunch and then headed to the Barbican Center Theatre. The blog following this one discusses more the events of that night, which included being in the same location AGAIN as the leads of the movie Once, we caught their last song even! I so wished I could have seen their show, but I was seeing another great show, Troilus & Cressida by the Cheek by Jowl Company, a very revered company. The Barbican Center used to be the main performance home for the RSC, but has since been used for many other performance companies. Our director, Tim Slover, was a big fan of The Cheek by Jowl company, for their pursuit of the 'harder/problem' plays...many of Shakespeare's but also others like Andromaque, and Boris Godunov by Chekov. The stage alone was amazing! You entered, and there was seating on both sides, with a long, catwalk like stage going between the two sides. It created this affect that at times if one was talking at one end of the 'stage' and the other character was at the created this 'tennis game' type movement of your head...switching from side to side to side. It was wonderful though..I saw Paris's bum! Still not a big fan of Troilus & Cressida but I definitely loved their representation of it.

I'm trying to recall what I did on Wednesday and I'm having some difficulty. I think I did museums...there's a lot of them to do!

THURSDAY: Thursday was packed! First off we had class....I mean we always had class, but we had actual class that day (HA-get it! I'm so tired?!) We ended early to get to our matinee of Fat Pig by Neil Labute. Neil Labute had weeks earlier came to our class for a personal lecture and got us all great free tickets! I really enjoyed the play--it had memorable faces in it--and though it made me hate men and my body at times, it was one of my favorite plays we'd seen so far. The plot focuses around the usual 'boy meet's girl' plot line, Tom meets Helen, a very friendly obese woman. The plot follows how he falls in love with her, but starts to feel the pressure from her and his co-workers about her appearance. Can he live up to the flack? Well he doesn't, and it's a play about weakness and what we judge on successful=slim/athletic and good looking, charismatic etc. Two of the actors were from Love Actually--and the lead (Tom) was played by Robert Webb (WHO MIGHT HAVE CLIMBED TO MY TOP 10 OF ATTRACTIVE WANTED MALES) who is also in some British sitcoms. Oh, how I loved him. He's so attractive, even though his character at the end makes me want to become a nun. We had a few hours afterwards to get some things to eat. While walking around searching for a place to eat, the dork in me spotted the location they filmed the 'descent into Ministry of Magic' from London area! I freaked out and started taking pictures. We found a pub of our choosing to which I had the 'Bangers and Mash' yum yum...and then we were off to the national Theatre again for Michael Frayn's Afterlife, which starred Roger Allam perhaps known from V for Vendetta. Funny story about Roger Allam, I in fact already saw him after seeing God of Carnage a few weeks back, and we had a little eye contact thing going on (ooglie eyes!) as we passed each other on the sidewalk. I was on my way to the stage door to stalk Ralph Fiennes when we passed each other. After I passed him, I turned around to signify to my friend Katy Wroble who that was. I began already to point and mouth "It's Roger Allam!" Only then did I realize that Roger Allam had also turned around to look at me as well, and was watching me pointing and gabbing. I felt like a fool.
SO it was an interesting play, certainly not a Noises Off, but I liked it. It modelled itself greatly after the play Everyman a play I don't know very much about except that it sounds like 'Meet Joe Black' to me....but HEY! guess who else should be viewing our same performance but the writer Michael Frayn, AND the Prime Minister himself, GORDON BROWN! Who I saw, with mine own eyes! I've seen so many influential people in such a short time, I can hardly handle it!

FRIDAY: Friday in the morning began with a masterclass, a lecture with Anthony Sherr. Anthony Sherr is a very famous actor known for his amazing portrayal of Richard III, the bottled spider! He had a lot of really good advice and inside tales of his various work throughout the realm of theatre and the dangers of cold coka cola. After the master class we got some lunch at Borough Market (market of my dreams!) I got the yummy pork and apple/barf sandwhich, got some yogurt covered pineapple at Cranberries and then visited the Tate Modern. I saw Picasso's, Magritte's, Warhol's, Liechtenstein's and much much more. The very environment was enthralling--this old huge empty factory type building, it was massive! I couldn't get over the size of it.

SATURDAY: Headed off to Portobello Market in the morning and it was so much better than the first rainy day I went to Portobello. Strolled along and had a nice "camera is still fine" sunny day. The weather has been so nice these past few days. Afterwards, my friend Katy and I set off for Hampstead Heath. My GOODNESS! I thought Kew was a gem of nature's glory, Hampstead Heath was GORGEOUS! And it just went on! On and on and on, hills rolling after hills, and high grass swaying after each other. I loved looking at people out with friends, having picnic's with their families...flying kites, people reading on their own where their heads are barely visible over the tall grass. We roamed around that beautiful area all day...getting lost, and seeing all the varying tall tree's. As it got darker, we made our way back to our flat. I loved that area.

SUNDAY: Today was a lot of fun. We set off early this morning, for a second look at Kew Gardens. When we were at Kew last time there were some exhibits like "The Treetop Canopy Walkway" were not yet open--so we went off again and it was lovely to be back in that area. I honestly think that Kew is one of my favorite parts we've done on the trip so far. The Treetop Canopy was such a sight to see, high up to the top of the tree's..I enjoyed myself, finding a quite place and started making an outline for my paper, wrote in my journal--and ooooh! I saw a fox for the first time in my least in real life. It ran right past me...kind of scared me actually...but then I figured that it was probably just off to do a disney movie with a hound or something about prejudice or something...whatever. Afterwards I went back to Hampstead Heath, after learning that a certain 'Coldplay Bakery' was right around where Katy and I were the day before. Apparently coldplay bought this old bakery and renovated it for a kind of 'creative area' and recording studio for their recent album. Some people on the web did some digging after they saw an interview where they filmed a short bit of it from the outside. So I went there, and took some paparrazi type photographs. They probably weren't anywhere near there at the moment, as their only there for recording sessions, but it was nice to get a bit of Coldplay history. It was such a quiet reserved place, you wouldn't even have known it was there just walking by. It was a wonderful geek fest for me. So I came back here...started working on my paper, and here I am now, and it's almost two in the morning.

I am going to Bedfordshire. I'm going to really live it up this week! Still a lot of things to look forward to. My dad comes to visit me this Thursday- and our group goes to see another Barbican show on Wednesday. Friday our group is going out to Oxford, and I'm going to have another geek fest. Doing like a Tolkien/C.S. Lewis/Pullman and Harry Potter tour...something like that. This Saturday I plan to go visit Windsor Castle/Bath/and Stonehenge.

I return home June 17th--lot to do before then!
Love you all
Thinking of you all the time...most of you!

COLDPLAY COMES OUT IN 4 DAYS! I've been listening to the album in it's entirety on myspace and it's wonderful!

"Look, maybe all those other boys at work at bookshops do what they want, but you live under my roof! You follow my rules! This isn't Waterstones!"-Black Books

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